In this article for Control Engineering Magazine, Bundy Group provides an update on mergers & acquisitions and capital placement activity in the automation market.
The business sale transaction announcements for the automation segment, which have occurred in summer 2022, highlighted a range of trends occurring in this high growth industry. First, strategic buyers and financial sponsors already in the segment continue to be extremely active participants in the automation market, as completing add-on acquisitions offer them a means for rapid growth and to realize synergies. Second, the below listed, recently acquired automation companies have an industry-centric focus and are often specializing their solutions around targeted client end-markets (i.e. food & beverage, life sciences, medical device, lumber). Third, the below transactions showcase the range of offerings that automation companies can deliver, including robotics manufacturing, systems integration, managed services, cybersecurity and data analytics. In review, these late summer 2022 transactions provide just a snapshot of key trends that are occurring throughout the automation industry and related mergers & acquisitions activity.
There are numerous automation transaction examples to note through August 2022, which exemplify the above developments. That includes the acquisition by Arsenal Capital Partners, a financial sponsor, of Innovative Products & Equipment, a manufacturer of automation systems for the medical device and life sciences markets. Arsenal will combine Innovative with another existing portfolio company, Eckhart, to create a larger automation solutions platform. Another transaction of interest is Amazon’s $1.7 billion purchase of iRobot, a manufacturer of home cleaning robots, which will allow the technology conglomerate to further its presence in the home automation market. A recently announced international transaction is Middleby Corporation’s acquisition of Colussi Emmes, an Italian-based manufacturer of automation solutions for the food processing industry. Based on Bundy Group’s current business sale and capital raise client engagements in the automation industry, we predict that the M&A momentum will endure as this in-demand market grows and evolves.
August 2022 automation transactions
Arsenal Capital Partners (“Arsenal”), a private equity firm announced that it has completed an investment in Innovative Products & Equipment, Inc., which it will combine with Eckhart, Inc., another Arsenal portfolio company, to build a leading automation solutions provider serving highly complex applications in high-growth end markets. Learn more.
Astrix and ResultWorks have decided to join forces to provide robust end to end services for life sciences, chemical, oil and gas and other science-based organizations. The combined team will help clients successfully transform digital and technical ecosystems across research, development, preclinical, clinical, regulatory and manufacturing. Learn more.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and iRobot (NASDAQ:IRBT) announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Amazon will acquire iRobot. iRobot has a history of making customers’ lives easier with innovative cleaning products for the home. iRobot has continued to innovate with every product generation, solving hard problems to help give customers valuable time back in their day. Learn more.
USNR, a division of Wood Technologies International, has acquired Timber Automation, an industry leader in wood processing equipment and technology. The combination solidifies USNR’s leadership position in providing equipment and technology to the global wood processing industry, adding more than 250 employees and over 200,000 square feet of manufacturing space. Learn more.
Leading automation and business technology services firm Accelirate Inc. announced that it has acquired Eshia Solutions, an integration services provider specializing in the MuleSoft platform. The combined company will strengthen its global presence with over 300 employees at locations across 6 countries. Through the acquisition, Accelirate expands its capabilities for helping clients achieve intelligent automation and integration at scale. Learn more.
The Middleby Corporation (NASDAQ: MIDD) announced the acquisition of Colussi Ermes, a leading worldwide manufacturer of automated washing solutions for the food processing industry. Located in Pordenone, Italy the company has approximately $50 million in annual revenues. Learn more.
GrayMatter, a provider of advanced industrial analytics, cybersecurity and automation solutions, announces the acquisition of Michigan-Based HTSE, Inc., a process automation & machine control provider for such industries as food & beverage, pharmaceutical, chemical and manufacturing companies. Learn more.
EQT portfolio company BBS Automation accelerates its MedTech / Life Sciences strategy with the acquisition of Kahle Automation S.r.l. – an Italian supplier of high-speed automation equipment for the MedTech and Life Sciences industries, catering to a wide spectrum of medical applications. Learn more.
Motion & Control Enterprises (“MCE”) announced that it has acquired Lone Star Machine Works (“LSMW”). Based in Mabank, Tex., LSMW was founded in 2000 and is a full-service provider of complex hydraulic repair, precision machining, welding, and fabrication services. The company has 42 associates and services industrial end-user and OEM customers across Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas and beyond. Learn more.
Bundy Group is a CFE Media and Technology content partner. Bundy Group is a boutique investment bank that specializes in representing controls and automation, Internet of Things, and cybersecurity companies in business sales, capital raises, and acquisitions. Over the past 33 years, Bundy Group has advised and closed over 250 transactions, which includes numerous automation-related transactions.